Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Happy Writer

Interestingly, even though there seems to be an image floating around in people's minds of the melancholy writer, my creative spirits take a huge leap up when I am happy. 

Friday, August 2, 2013


I think a person's chest is connected in a special way with intimacy. Not because of a biological purpose for our chests, they are merely cavities for our heart and lungs, but because things seem to work out that way.
     When we hug, we are bringing our chests close. "I'm sorry, but when you turned thirteen, you barely hugged me anymore and then that * high five came along. I had to do whatever I could to feel your chest against mine." (Burt in 'Raising Hope' retrieved from

     Where does one hold a baby? Against one's chest.
And, speaking of babies, where is breast feeding done? You guessed it...

So I guess it's necessary at this point to discuss the connection of female breasts with sex. Why are breasts connected with sex? 
Remember that in historic China, women's bound feet were perceived sexually. ( This is because, in their deformed state, they looked different than men's feet. They were thus connected specifically with "woman" and thus, in the eyes of those men who primarily see women in a sexual context, these feet were sexual.
But, both men and women have feet. And feet have a specific biological purpose: to facilitate walking. Likewise with breasts. The only chest difference between men and women is that women have a larger deposit of fat in their breasts than men. (Female breasts can also produce milk, but that does not affect much in a non-lactating woman.) And since this greater shapeliness has come to be associated specifially with women, it has come to be associated with sex. As was the case for the differently shaped lotus feet in historic China.
   However, I wonder if the "sexual" intimacy connected with a woman's chest does not have a different feel to it than actually genital sexual stuff. (I really hope I'm not embarrassing any readers here.) It would seem to me to be different.  

The longest section of this post turned out to be about sex. I didn't intend it that way. 
Back to the image of the resting baby... (the biological purpose of sex btw) No place like Dad's chest.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

More on Sherlock

I actually wanted to add more clarity to what was written earlier on the existence of fictional characters.
"A fictional character is not one thing but many."
Let's revise that to be: "A fictional character is nothing."
There is no fictional character.
There is the writer thinking of a set of qualities and stuff that make up the fictional character. There is the actor, (in a play, movie or TV show) pretending. There is the reader or viewer, reading or observing and forming images and concepts in their mind in accordance with what they are reading or observing.

A legitimate interpretation is one where those concepts and images that are formed in the reader's/viewer's mind do not conflict with what is given by the author/creator of the character.

All this is not helpful for suspension of disbelief...Talk of "canon" and "not canon" is much more useful in aiding suspension of disbelief. But my version is more to the truth.

Sherlock, Existence, and Fiction: Part One

Is Sherlock in the TV series Sherlock an Aspie?
There's some dispute over this question. The actor, Benedict Cumberbatch claims that Sherlock is not an Aspie, but is a "high-functioning sociapath." I think this is equivalent to a mistaken self-diagnosis. But let's take up the details of this later.
Right now, let's address the question of what it even means to say that a fictional character has or doesn't have whichever psychiatric condition.

First of all, let's remember that Sherlock is a fictional character. What kind of existence does a fictional character have?
A fictional character is not one thing, but many.
There is no fictional character. And yet there is.
There is the writer thinking of the character. The thoughts and images inside his head are the character.
There is the reader reading about a character. The thoughts and images inside his head are the character.
There is the actor playing a character. His actions and character related images/thoughts are the character.
There are the viewers watching a movie. The images and sounds in front of them are the character, but so are the images and sounds inside their heads.

There are many versions of each fictional character.

 Does Sherlock have aspergers?
The correct question isn't "Does this fictional character have this diagnosis?"
But "Is this diagnosis a legitimate interpretation of this character?"  
In order for a diagnosis of a real person to be true, it must correspond accurately with what is actually going on inside that person's head. 
In order for a diagnosis of a TV character to be legitimate, the type of (imaginary) things going on inside that character's head, the (imaginary) stuff going on in their brain that would fit that diagnosis must be things that would fit that character's external actions.
There can be different legitimate interpretations of a TV character's mind/brain/neurological state, just as there can be different legitimate visualization's of the physical appearance of a character in a book. (As long as such visualizations fit with the sparse verbal description written down by the actor.)

In the next post, we shall examine whether ASD is a legitimate interpretation in this particular case.